Saturday, December 8, 2007

Secret project...

What do you think this will become?

Without giving too much away, you probably already guessed from the colors that it has something to do with the upcoming holidays...

Actually, I'm thinking of knitting a Christmas sweater for my brother. All bright reds and greens and reindeer and santa and everything...

HA! I think I've just given my brother a heart attack! (He only ever wears solid neutral colors and can't even bear stripes, let alone a loud red and green sweater). I tried to find a link to a really busy Christmas sweater pattern to really scare him, but I couldn't find any. I guess no knitter would waste their time knitting an ugly sweater...

So, this yarn is not destined to be a sweater, but something else very special for Christmas. I won't say anymore here: I don't want to spoil the surprise! But if you're on Ravelry, you can get a peek of it in my projects.

I'll show you the finished product over the holidays.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ana hat!

The Ana hat is done!
5 days from cast on to bind off... not bad, don't you think? Quite a quick knitalong... Emily finished hers on Wednesday.

The hat is really easy to knit.
First, you make a long rectangle in stockinette stitch. I added a dozen rows to the 22" size, because my row gauge was slightly off. (145 rows instead of 133)

Then you pick up the cast on row (after unraveling the provisional cast on) and one side of the rectangle. Three sides of the rectangle are on the needles, the other one is the edge of the hat. Then you knit all the stitches you just picked up.
Because I had more rows, I ended up picking up 9 extra stitches along the side of the rectangle (109 instead of 100). To get to the desired number of stitches for the folding process (multiples of 20), I did 9 evenly spaced decreases along the side of the rectangle while I knitted all the picked up stitches.

Then comes the folding process. It's basically three needle bind-off in sections.
Transfer equal number of stitches on 2 DPNs, fold (purl sides together), and do three needle bind-off. Repeat...

When you come to the end of the folds, the hat looks like this:

Finally, you start the gathering process to close off the back of the hat and end up with this:

(that's a desk lamp under there, to try to give you an idea of the shape)

I like it a lot. I even planned my outfit around it this morning... If you want to see what it looks like on an actual person, go see Emily's pictures. I need to figure out a way to take pictures of myself wearing my finished objects. My experiments with mirrors have not been successful. Maybe I need a remote control or something... Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My first knitalong!

OK, so it's not an "official" knitalong... Emily and I bought kits to make Ana hats at the Fleece Artist trunk show in October. We were lucky to get our hands on the only two kits available that day. The colors were meant to be: Emily's is teal (always her favorite!) and mine is burgundy.

Emily started hers last week, and I cast on for mine today. I've knitted over 40 rows, so I'm about a third of the way done. It's a pretty quick knit! For all I know, Emily could be done already! I guess knitalongs might be better suited to larger projects... In any case, we can confer about the folding process. The pattern comes with written and photo instructions that make it seem really complicated. I hope it will become self-evident once we get started. I think we'll both be done pretty quickly. And not a moment too soon! We'll need our Ana hats to face the cold weather: it snowed in Seattle yesterday!

Pattern: Ana by Perl Grey
Yarn: Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-ply (65% wool 35% silk) in Burgundy (230 meters/100g). Purchased at Hilltop Yarn in Queen Anne (Seattle)
Needle: addi Turbo circular US 6 (4.00mm), 32 inches (80 cm)
Started: December 2, 2007

The yarn feels great, and the colorway is wonderful. Subtle shades of dark pink and burgundy, with a little hint of caramel. It'll be perfect with my caramel-colored coat!